LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Wishes


I am having significant problem posting on my blog or commenting on others.  So I will go dark for a while until the problem is fixed, which may involve getting a new laptop.  Until then, I will read your blogs on my tablet but will not try to post anything.  Too much hassle here at the holidays.




















I hope everything goes well with you until I return.  And even after I return.


Friday, November 18, 2016

We Love Lucy


Wildfires continue to burn across western NC.  Our community is not in immediate danger but our air quality waxes between orange and red alerts.  The air is acrid and the smoke is occasionally so thick it looks like fog rising from the valleys.  The weather has brought temperatures much above our average but we are expecting a cold front which will bring our temperatures back to normal.  Unfortunately, the front will bring high winds along as well.  We owe a great debt to the many men and women who have come from across our nation to help with fighting the fires.

Most mornings we can find some time to let Lucy run in the park.  But the rest of the day she remains indoors to protect her from the smoke.  She is content to lounge around the house snoozing in various places.  Sometimes she falls asleep in a sunbeam and awakens to find it has moved.

That's funny.  I could have sworn I was in the sun.
.




 Mom, do you know what happened?

Only 43 days remain in this year and I will be more than glad to say good-bye.  (Good-bye won't be my actual words.  Before I say "Happy New Year" I will scream, "F YOU 2016" several times.)

It is fitting that our quote comes from the late and much beloved Leonard Cohen.  This from his song, "Anthem."

The birds, they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
Has passed away
Or what is yet to be


Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.

That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND
 
HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR



 


[I'm trying.  I really am.  But when I look at the character of the people DJT is appointing, I am very sad indeed.]

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sapsucker Recovery


It was late in the afternoon when I heard that heart-sickening "thud."  It's a sound like no other, varying only in intensity.  A bird hitting the house.  From the sound I knew it was a large bird.  I quickly looked out to find it was a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.  Dang!

The good news was that the bird was sitting upright and was not gasping at all.  She did not seem to have been injured, merely stunned.

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker recovering on the deck.



 In less than a minute the bird flew into a nearby tree and sat absorbing the dwindling rays of sunshine on her body.  She stayed on the tree for a few moments and they flew away.


Sapsuckers are relatively common in some areas of the NC mountains, but we do not often see them.  We've never had them visit our suet feeders.  So we were especially delighted that this bird recovered so quickly and without apparent long-term damage.


[So a white supremacist will be the new White House Chief Strategist to DJT.  So much for bringing the Nation together.]

Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembering Ellie


Two lovely Golden Retrievers on a beautiful Autumn day in 2013.  Our Lucy on the left and our Ellie on the right, taking an enforced rest break from romping in the leaves.  Both were the picture of health.  In fact they had their annual exams a month before and the veterinarian pronounced them perfect.  October 30 was a perfect day in DuPont State Forest.



 The pedestrian bridge over Little River near the trail where the dogs were running.  It was new then.



 The wide and empty trail ahead.

Who could have predicted on this gorgeous Autumn day that our beloved Ellie would be dead in less than a fortnight?  November 10th.  It was on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  My husband had taken both girls out for a walk.  They were both active and happy.  When they got back to the house, Ellie abruptly collapsed at the top of the driveway.  She would not or could not get up.  My husband ran inside and we quickly put her in his SUV and drove to the emergency hospital, calling them on the way there.

When we got there the veterinarian told us immediately that she suspected a massive internal bleed from a hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel walls.  It is usually on the spleen or lining of the heart.  This cancer is more common in Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds.  Mean age is 9-12 years old.  The first symptom is often a sudden collapse.  Ellie definitely fit the profile.

They rushed her back to the operating room, but she died on the table.  She had bled into the lining of her heart.

She was a lovely dog, but her looks were unimportant compared to her temperament.  She was the very definition of loyalty.  Quick to learn and eager to please.
The closest thing to a perfect dog that we will ever see.


 She never wandered far, always stopping and looking back for us



 Trying her best to look regal while holding her tennis balls.
She carried at least one ball and usually two most of the time.



 Like all Goldens, she was an adorable puppy.

Ellie was the canine love of my life.  We will have other dogs, but there will never again be a bond such as the one between Ellie and me.  She understood my every mood.  And I will miss her forever.

Today's quote is attributed to Dr. Seuss.  It gives me a great deal of comfort.

Don't cry because it's over
Smile because it happened.


Our thoughts go out to our neighbors in western NC where the mountains are ablaze.  The air is hazy here but none of the fires are sufficiently close to put us in danger at present.  We remain very concerned because of the exceptional drought conditions (the category worse than extreme) throughout the mountains and no rain in sight.  Rivers are carrying less than half their usual flow volume.  The fallen leaves are very dry.  The pine needles are brown and falling off, making for frightening tinder for a potential fire.  Thousands of acres are burning and only one of the fires is more than 15% contained.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE
THIS IS OUR COUNTRY
WE WILL GET THROUGH IT
This is Veteran's Day here in the United States.  We honor all of those who serve, now and in the past.

[You remember when I said last week I wanted the election to be over?  No matter what the outcome?  I LIED!  It is so much worse than I feared.  I'll never look at my fellow citizens in the same way again.  Ever.]


 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Nature Connects


Sean Kenny spent many happy hours of his childhood playing with his LEGO™ bricks.  He was so interested in them he wondered if he could actually make a living creating sculptures with the bricks.  Turns out he could.  He became the first LEGO™ Certified Professional.  He designs and builds art for many companies in several countries.

Here in Western North Carolina we were privileged to have his "Nature Connects" series of LEGO™ brick sculptures on display at our NC Arboretum in nearby Asheville from late July until the end of October.  There were fourteen massive sculptures made entirely of LEGO™ bricks.  And these were the "normal-sized" bricks, not the larger ones.

The day was periodically overcast when we went, but the sculptures were absolutely gorgeous anyway.  We were greeted at the entrance by a very large Ruby-throated Hummingbird sipping nectar from a flower.


The first exhibit, near the entrance of the Visitor Center


 A lovely Monarch butterfly sitting atop a flower


 The large sundial and the bird.  All made with the bricks


 The American Eagle stood out in the sun with the overcast skies above.


 
 A larger-than-life gardener worked in the soil.


Yes, we did indeed find every single one.  I'm not certain why I selected only these but perhaps I will show you some more of them at another time.

I've never been one to try to define art.  I've always maintained that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  Some purists might argue that a sculpture made of children's building blocks does not qualify as "real" art.  Who cares what they say?

I will give you the definition of art in the Oxford Dictionary:
1. [mass noun]  The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

I can assure you that these sculptures do indeed provide appreciation of their beauty and bring powerful emotions.  They do indeed connect us with Nature.  If you are near a Sean Kenney display, you should definitely visit.  Whether you call it art or not, you will be impressed by the size of the sculptures and the number of bricks in each one.  (They did list how many bricks were used to create each sculpture but I was so caught up in the beauty I barely noticed.)

Friday, November 4, 2016

We Love Lucy


Yet another very strange week here in the NC mountains.  It began with the effects of a fire in the Colonial Pipeline.  Yes, the very one whose flow was interrupted two months ago.  And yes, the one that supplies gasoline to the southern and southeastern states.  As they are wont to do, people heard about the fire early Tuesday morning and rushed to the gas stations to top off their tanks.  By Tuesday afternoon there was no gasoline in our county.  The week continued with much higher than normal temperatures...reaching 80 degrees here.  The temperatures have moderated a bit, but are still much warmer than normal.  And we are in a severe drought with no rain in sight.  Fire dangers are extremely high.  We are more than 18 inches short of our normal rainfall.  The trees are stressed and the pines are dropping needles.  For these and many reasons, the folks around here seem tired and weary.  I went down for early voting yesterday and while things ran smoothly, everyone seemed a bit lethargic.

I saw a blurb this morning that 85% of Americans are "disgusted" with this election.  Wonder if the other 15% are comatose?  Our state is more important to this election than it usually is, so we have been treated to some of the most horrible of political advertisements and robocalls.  In addition to the Presidential election, we have a hotly contested race for Senate and a very close gubernatorial election as well.  Lies, half-truths, and innuendos lead the messages of the day.  I don't even turn on the television for weather reports any longer.  The weather news is depressing as well.

I am trying to enjoy the mild weather, but truthfully, it simply feels wrong.  To turn on the air conditioner in November?  At least the mornings are cooler and Lucy can still enjoy her romps in the park.  And so she lives in her insulated world, happy as can be.

Lucy, you look quite regal.
Thanks, Mom.  That's part of my job.




Today's quote is from author Abigail Thomas.  I have it written down and review it often.

I watch my dogs.
They throw themselves into everything they do; even their sleeping is whole-hearted.
They aren't waiting for a better tomorrow or looking back at their glory days.
Following their example I'm trying to stick to the present.

These words echo through my mind as I try to ground myself and insulate myself from all the campaign rhetoric.  So I'm definitely going to stick to the present.  Four days from today will be Election Day.  And we will deal with what comes after soon enough.

Try to find alternatives to occupy your time.  Return to your favorite hobbies.  Get out your Thanksgiving decorations in spite of the temperature.  Try some new recipes.  Personally, I'm settling down each evening with movies and an extra glass of wine.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE

MAKE CERTAIN YOU CAST YOUR VOTE

THEN RELAX AND HOPE FOR THE BEST 
 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Another Halloween


Halloweenfest is one of our town's biggest street festivals.  Vendors line the closed streets offering all sorts of craft items and foods.  The stores are all decorated.  Music fills the air.  And the laughter of the children is heard everywhere.  It is such a fun time.

Our little town has many hills and there are three streets that are the best for trick or treating. The streets run parallel to one another and have lots of houses in a concentrated area.  Because so many children trick or treat on these three streets, the whole town helps out.  Various stores have boxes for donations of treats or money to purchase them.  These are distributed to the folks living on these three streets and in some cases people volunteer to assist giving out candy if needed.  Most of the children limit their trick-or-treating to this area.  Safe for the kids.  Easy for the parents.  And community participation.  What a great little town.

I'm sure that one reason we celebrate Halloween with such vigor is that our county is Transylvania.  Many cars have stickers of bat silhouettes and proclaim, "Transylvania County.  Bite Me!"

There are so many things for the children to do at Halloweenfest.  The usual face painting, cookie decorating, tractor rides, bouncy houses, etc.  But my favorite by far is the Great Pumpkin Roll.


The event is called the Great Pumpkin Roll
But almost everyone in town calls it the punkin' roll.




Local farmers donate the roundest pumpkins for the roll.
The pumpkins vary in sizes encouraging speculation as to which is better, the small ones or the larger ones.
Everyone has a "scientific" reason one is better than the other.




 This is the top of Jailhouse Hill
(Yes, the hill that no longer has the jail.)
There are bales of hay at the bottom where the street is barricaded.
No, there has never been a pumpkin making it to the bottom of the hill.




 The kids line up and lots of folks cheer them on.
Wave after wave of children participate in the pumpkin roll.




 I especially love watching the children gesture and shouting encouragement to their pumpkins.

When I was a child, we went trick-or-treating at night and on Halloween night.  Most communities now have designated hours the weekend before.  In the daylight.  I know that is how it must be but I'm sorry that children no longer have the scary fun of going out in the dark.

We also had large Halloween Carnivals at school.  I'm not sure if they do that anymore, but I still remember those peeled grape eyeballs, spaghetti brains, and the fortune teller who looked remarkably like my friend's mother.  What a fun time.  Thank goodness our little town still celebrates Halloween.

So today is actually Halloween.  And we are in the 70s here in the mountains.  We may set another record for high temperature this last day of October.  And the heat is expected to continue all week.  Seriously?

Friday, October 28, 2016

We Love Lucy


Our house sits on top of a hill and the backyard slopes down to a little creek below.  It is a cool spot in summer and a fun place for Lucy to explore.  She especially likes it when the Autumn leaves have fallen.  She and Ellie use to chase each other around and around the laurel thicket there.

Like many areas of the mountains, our Autumn color was muted this year with many leaves turning a little yellow and then all brown.  Strong winds have made many trees bare already.

Lucy sniffs her way up the stone path



 
 Lucy at a forced sit and not at all happy about it.
You might make me sit but I'm not looking at the camera.
And I'm not going to smile.
Yes, we have chairs in the woods and tables and benches made from logs



 It's very dry here and our little creek is barely a trickle




Don't some of your trees have faces?

There seems to be a massive sense of unease throughout our country.  I do hope that will subside after the election.

Many people around our planet are troubled and in pain.  From Nature's wrath and the most evil of our fellow humans.  Bombs are deliberately aimed at schools and hospitals in war-torn areas.  So when we ask for peace, let's be sure to remember all of those who are suffering.

This week's quote is from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Peace is not merely a distant goal we seek,
But a means by which we arrive at that goal” 


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE!

Always buy your favorite candy to give for Trick or Treat.  So if there is any left over you can eat candy with impunity.  No calories in leftover Halloween candy.  You heard it here first.


Monday, October 24, 2016

A Special Birthday


It has been a nice break and a great visit with our daughter.  The weather was perfect the entire time although we would have liked some rain.  It is frighteningly dry here with fallen dry leaves and pine needles.

Today is our daughter's birthday.  Our firstborn and only daughter.  She was born in Indiana where my husband was serving his two-year obligatory stint in the Navy.  Our first three choices (they actually asked for our preferences) were all overseas.  So we were sent to Indiana of course.  We lived on base at the Naval Ammunition Depot (NAD) in Crane, Indiana.  NAD Crane was established in 1941, the Navy taking over 100 square miles spanning four counties in southern Indiana for the purposes of producing, testing, and storage of ordnance.  When we were there, the base had a small number of military personnel so we lived in a lovely two-story house that would previously have been given to a much higher ranking officer.  It was  a lovely place to have our first baby with miles and miles of paved flat private roads that led to the storage bunkers, trails and old homesteads, a very large lake and extensive recreational facilities.  Twenty miles southwest of Bloomington, our gates were often the site of protesters from IU.  (We had much more in common with the students than with the Navy.)

So our first child was born in nearby Bedford.  A real little Hoosier.  She was a beautiful baby and such an easy infant to care for.  Always adaptable to our young parenting skills.  She was a delight and I thought motherhood was very fine indeed.  She was the apple of her grandfather's eye who held her at every opportunity and logged miles in her stroller.  I carried her in a backpack-type carrier in the tiny nearby town of Odon, IN.  The folks stared at the strange method of carrying a baby.  We drove through the Amish communities nearby.  She loved riding in the car.

Yawning as if she were already bored.
The day she came home from the hospital.

She grew into a delightful toddler.  Full of good humor, she never had a single tantrum.  What on earth were those folks talking about those "terrible twos?"  She was a compassionate little thing from early on.  She loved the children's television show "Sesame Street."  But she ran from the room when the Sesame Street baker invariably fell down and dropped his cakes.  She saw nothing humorous about falling down or dropping cakes.

One of her last photographs as an only child.
When she was a little over two years old, her baby brother was born.

We moved to Milwaukee when she was twelve and she lives there still.  But she also loves the North Carolina mountains as much as we do.  She comes to visit several times a year and we spend most days traveling on mountain roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We ramble small rural roads and find all sorts of wonderful sights we might otherwise have missed.  She's a great traveling companion.

She is an accomplished fisherman and she and her fishing buddy fish in Lake Michigan and in rivers and the other lakes all over Wisconsin.  They have even gone on a week-long fishing trip in Canada with a guide and rather spartan living conditions.


She caught her first Steelhead Trout this year.
It is held up by her fishing buddy.  He was as happy about it as she was.


She knows more than I do about birds and she and a friend often go birding all over WI.

Most importantly, my daughter is one of my very dearest and most trusted friends.  We can be together for long stretches of time and still enjoy each other.  We both love the same British comedies and mysteries. And the old Bette Davis and Vincent Price movies.  And many of the same books.  And yet we can share quiet time as well.

Lucy loves for her to visit and sits close by, demanding a lot of petting. At night, before I would put her to bed, Lucy would wander to the sofa to greet our daughter once again.  After our daughter went back to WI, Lucy would stare attentively at the guest room, hoping that she wasn't really gone.

So here's a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our first born. From us and from Lucy:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR DAUGHTER

HERE'S TO THE START OF ANOTHER YEAR FULL OF FUN AND ADVENTURE!

Friday, September 30, 2016

We Love Lucy


Finally.  We are having wonderful Autumn weather.  Cool and crisp mornings and warm and sunny afternoons.  Lucy does thrive in this weather.  She forgets that she is eleven now and she still runs like a puppy, then sinks to rest.

She even curls up like a puppy, head between her paws.




 But she is on her feet when I open the pill bottles.
Always ready for a pill sammich.


I will be taking a blogging break for at least two weeks.  Our daughter is coming for a visit and we will be hitting the mountain roads.

We don't subscribe to THE NEW YORKER, but here is their clever cover.  Like a determined terrier, a certain politician simply cannot let go, even when it's in his best interest to do so.  I understand he was up in the wee hours this morning still tweeting away.  So this cover is appropriate.  In case you cannot read the sash, it's "Miss Congeniality."





I get rather depressed sometimes thinking about all the problems we have in this time.  The damage we inflict on our mother earth, the damage we inflict on our fellow humans across the globe.  And I feel overwhelmed with a desire to do something.

In those times, I remember the words of Edward Everett Hale.  I may have shared them before but they are especially appropriate now.

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.



HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND, EVERYONE
DO THE SOMETHING YOU CAN DO
 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wonderful Diversion



I saw flashes of him several times.  But never when I was outside with the camera.  I knew he would soon be joined by others but their time among us would be brief.  So I spent quite a bit of time hoping for a photograph.  Of one of my favorite migrants, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  The males come first and stay a week or so and then the females join them for a few days.  The males travel on their southward journey and we enjoy the females for another week or so.  They stay in our area to rest and refuel for the remainder of their journey to Central America or South America.

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is about the size of an American Robin.  In spring they have a song similar to the robin, only more beautiful.  As if a robin took singing lessons.  The grosbeaks do not nest here and we are treated to them only during the spring and fall migrations.

Finally.  I'm there with my camera and the bird appears.  The bird I've been looking for.
Getting a drink from the bird bath.

Oh, you are gorgeous.  I do wish you would turn around.



 The bird turns around and sees me.  He is not at all sure if he will stay in my presence.

 You talking to me?




 Oh, yes.  You are almost as pretty as you are in spring.




 Thank you for visiting us.


I sometimes feel a bit guilty photographing birds who clearly notice me.  This one did not take another drink after he saw me.  He quickly decided he was too uncomfortable to stay and off he flew.  When he did I moved away so he could come back for a snack and a drink.

We will enjoy these bright male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and will be a bit sad when we see the first of the migrating females.  That will mean the days of seeing this beautiful rosy breast will soon end.  But there will be other days and other new birds.

I won't even turn on the television during the day.  I'll be outdoors.  The beautiful news of the migration outside is a wonderful diversion from the frightening reality series of politics.

Friday, September 23, 2016

We Love Lucy


Autumn is here!  The panic gasoline shortage is pretty much over.  The Colonial Pipeline was quickly diverted around the leak and the pipeline fixed.  So we will be able to get up to higher elevations to see the changing colors.

Lucy has developed some contact allergies and has two more "hot spots" and a rash on her underside.  She's under treatment and new drugs so we're hoping everything will heal up nicely.  The veterinarian thinks this will be seasonal but one of the newer drugs can be given year round if she develops chronic allergies.  We think it has to do with grass since she gets much worse walking in the grass beside the roads.  No, our community does not spray anything on the grass.  But this has been an unusually hot dry summer.  The veterinarian says she is seeing many more allergies this year than usual.

The following photograph was during a rest period after a romp in the park.  It's difficult to know whether she is smiling because she is happy or whether it is more of a sun grin.


Lucy grinning in the bright sun

 The following is a genuine grin.  I had just asked if she wanted a cookie and snapped this before she could get up.  We call all treats "cookies."


 Oh, yes please.  I'd love to have a cookie

To those of you who are losing your summer birds, we thank you for sending them to us.  The migration has begun once more and we truly welcome the visitors who spend a week or so with us before heading to parts further south.

I do hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I'm not watching much television at all, although I did stay up late Wednesday night watching the Charlotte protests and then the rioting.  So sad to see.  And I don't want to hear one more prediction about what the Presidential debate might be like.  I won't even be watching.  I'll wait for Samantha Bee to fill me in afterwards.  And thank goodness John Oliver is back from his break.

I actually heard a woman tell a reporter, "Well it's time to shake things up.  Maybe we do need to put a bull in the china shop."  Silly woman...not good for the bull and certainly not good for the china shop.

Today's quote is actually a poem by Gaby Compr├ęs.  It makes me feel good every time I read it.

There are stars you haven’t seen and loves you haven’t loved
There’s light you haven’t felt and sunrises yet to dawn
There are dreams you haven’t dreamt
And days you haven’t lived and nights you won’t forget
And flowers yet to grow
And there is more to you that you have yet to know.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE

DREAM THOSE DREAMS

 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hint of Color



It's beginning to look and feel more like Autumn in the mountains.  We love to drive to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) where the color first appears around here.



I took this photograph for the clouds, not the color




 Spots of color give a hint of the beauty to come




 The wildflowers and shrubs add to the color




 And the clouds again.  Almost like a huge contrail

Just mention the words, "possible flurries" during the winter in the south and people run to the grocery store.  In no time at all the bread and milk are sold out.

Likewise, mention the words, "some gasoline shortages" and everyone drives to top off their tanks.  Immediately.  So it comes as no surprise that there is no gasoline anywhere in our county, and likely not in neighboring counties as well.  And by the time of this writing there may be none anywhere in North Carolina.  The Colonial Pipeline carries most of the gasoline delivered to the East Coast has a leak and spill in Alabama.  So warnings were issued that gasoline supplies might be reduced.  That statement created a self-fulfilling prophecy and the gasoline stations sold out completely by Sunday morning.


 Photograph from a mountain newspaper

Our governor (and other governors in the Southeast) has declared a state of emergency as the delivery interruptions might create huge problems for the school system and emergency services.

A diversion around the leak is in process and hopefully the gas deliveries will return to normal soon.  Meanwhile, there will be no casual driving on the BRP to see the colors unfolding.

Friday, September 16, 2016

We Love Lucy


Lucy had a much more difficult time in puppy kindergarten than our Ellie had.  Part of the reason was that she didn't seem to see the need to do what we were teaching.  She especially hated the "sit" command.  I've mentioned before that she had many questions about the command.  Oh, do you mean NOW?  How long must I sit?  Where?  Is this really necessary?  I don't see any reason for this.  You get the idea.  Finally she realized that we weren't going to stop our training until she did what we asked of her.  And that we would regularly reinforce the training for no good reason.  So she decided it might be in her best interest if she went along with it.  And generally speaking, Lucy will do whatever is in her best interest.

Note the "puppy" sit so typical of youngsters.
Even at this age Lucy did not like being told to sit and stay.
[Yes, she once had a Carolina blue collar like Ellie's]




Guess what?  She never did learn to sit like an adult.
She kept the puppy sit position even as an adult.
(And no, there is nothing wrong with her joints.)





She clearly does not like to sit and pose.
Her face and demeanor convey how she feels about this.

It's still much warmer than normal for this time of year but we are expecting some cooler weather soon.

I knew things had exceeded the normal wild and crazy I have come to expect when the first "news" I heard this morning was that DJT was going to announce whether or not he believes our President of eight years was truly born in America.  Like the pied piper leading the rats, he piped while the press and networks flocked to hear what he had to say.  I did not, could not, watch.  But I heard later that he did indeed state that he believes President Obama was born in America. Wow!  I'm glad that's settled.  But wait!  Say it isn't so.  The lead story on this evening's PBS Newshour was (ready for this?) about DJT and his big announcement.  So now I can't watch even Newshour.  Thank goodness Samantha Bee is back from hiatus to keep me informed.

I don't often quote the Holy Bible, at least not on this blog, but with all the rhetoric it might be a good idea for us to pay attention to the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report;
if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

You need not be a "believer" to accept these words.  So think on these things.

 The moon is full once again.  I hope you have clear skies so you can enjoy it.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE
AND A WONDERFUL WEEK TO COME